Grama Seva 2014 - Monday, 2nd October 2014

The Day began at 0500 with 21 Omkars and Suprabhatam. As we had come back round to Thursday, the morning prayers were once again devoted to Guru. During the remainder of the morning session, Puppet Sir spoke on various topics. Among these was Ceiling on Desires. We were taught that the way we should establish whether a desire is worthwhile is by asking ourselves three questions: Firstly, do I need it? Secondly, can I afford it? Finally, can I live without it? Today had the added significance of being Ashtami, which In Prashanti means the day of Ayudha Puja, where people worship the tools of their respective professions. Puppet Sir explained the relevance of this ritual in the modern day, telling us that we must destroy our base instincts with the weapons of love, faith, conviction and self-control. Swami, as he has done every day, went on to demonstrate his constant presence by proclaiming, “A wise man should have self-control!”

At the conclusion of our morning session, we made our way to Sai Kulwant Hall to witness the Ayudha Puja in the form of Vahana Puja, where Swami’s vehicles (including the magnificent Golden Chariot) were worshipped with Veda chanting and the breaking of coconuts in the same manner that Swami used to do every year. This day always has a special significance for us in particular as it sees the emergence of the Mini car that was offered at the Divine Lotus Feet by Puppet Sir; indeed the car has been blessed by Swami giving his Divine Darshan in it! As a reflection of Swami’s love, Puppet Sir was given the honour of participating in the Puja by being invited by Central Trust members to break a coconut in front of the Mini. The Puja concluded with Aarti.

Following Ayudha Puja, we conducted Pradakshina of the Mandir with Swami’s students and faculty and made our way to our vehicles to get ready for our daily Prema Yagna in the form of Grama Seva. Today, we travelled to the village of Janakampalli in Bukkapatnam Mandal. The village consists of close to 4500 people. With Swami’s students leading the way and helping to overcome the barrier of our basic telugu speaking, we were able to complete the day’s task in an efficient and timely manner, making sure each and every house was served, before returning to Prashanti Nilayam.

Following our lunch of Swami’s prasadam, we concluded our study of Lingaashtakam by contemplating the inner meaning of the final verse. After reciting the prayer, Puppet Sir posed the question, “who is your Guru?” He went on to explain that your real Guru is Sadguru, Devaguru and Jagadguru, which is ultimately your true self. This Guru is concretised in the Lingam before which we prostate ourselves.

After the afternoon session, we made our way to Sai Kulwant Hall for Swami’s Darshan along with the penultimate day of Prashanti Vidwan Mahasabha. Today we heard a dynamic address by Dr N Gopalakrishnan, who is an acclaimed scientist in the field of chemistry, having held positions in numerous institutions both in India and abroad. He is also a scholar in Sanskrit and Indian heritage, and so brought a distinct blend of perscpectives. Dr Gopalakrishnan spoke of six steps required in order to lead a meaningful life: elevation of the mind, nurturing of the body, creating a family, protecting our culture, serving society and thereby making a golden nation.

The session concluded with Swami’s Divine discourse, bhajans and Mangal Aarti.

In the evening the some of the Brother were lucky enough to be interviewed in the Radio Sai Studio whilst the others listened. The recording from the Radio Sai session can be found here for those of you that would like to have a listen: Radio Sai Interview - Thursday Live - October 2nd 2014

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